Did you know?
73% of hotel guests want local recommendations when surveyed for the Monscierge Guest Experience Management (GEM) Report.
A quick Google Image search for “buy local” returns logos and images for campaigns spreading across the country –– covering every state, county and city from Santa Monica, California, to Monadnock, New Hampshire. This local push in communities isn’t new; it’s just received a lot of publicity in the last couple years as a strategy to improve local economies. It’s good news for communities and the green movement. It’s also good news for travelers. With the rise of local awareness, there are more ways than ever to get the insider scoop on cities. Locally owned business registries are expanding in content and viewership –– not to mention new blogs dedicated to local restaurants, events and markets are being published every day. Searching keywords like, "keep it local [city]" or "local businesses [city]” should produce some great results to help you plan the itinerary for your next trip. But, my favorite way to find out about a new city, with the best results, is to check out their weeklies online. Every major (and pretty much every minor) city has one. Weeklies are rich with local favorites (antique shops, cafes and boutiques), restaurant reviews and event calendars. You’ll get a good feel for the local flavor –– and attitude. But best of all, weeklies are written by the people who love the city they live in. While their recommendations may not be likely to populate the first couple of pages of an online search, they’re the most valuable. (Search “[city] weekly” –– even those with tricky names should be easy to find in any search engine.) So, my advice: get your recommendations from the experts and travel your next destination city like a local. Not only will you have the most unique and quality experience –– you’ll be supporting local businesses. It doesn’t get any better than that. [Disclaimer: Some readers may find the opinions and topics covered in some weeklies to be offensive, sarcastic or in poor taste.]